Four Washington state prison inmates are making history by becoming the first inmates certified to teach Path of Freedom, an emotional intelligence program based on mindfulness meditation. As certified trainers the four are starting to teach the 12-week curriculum to other men behind bars. The Path of Freedom program was developed by the Massachusetts-based Prison Mindfulness Institute. These enthusiastic and dedicated men are venturing into uncharted territory. Path of Freedom has been taken into prisons across the U.S. and Europe for many years, but only by outside volunteers who pay for and complete a six-week online training course. Click here to continue reading this article by Tenzin Gache for Northwest Dharma Association.
Far too often society focuses on the lives of those behind bars, and rarely on those who work inside correctional facilities. Prison is a tough place not only for inmates, but also for those who dedicate their lives to working in correctional facilities. Correctional officers (COs) and other corrections professionals face numerous health risks due to the high stress nature of their jobs and environments, risks than can impact their families as well. The high stress working conditions in corrections can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among COs – at a rate much higher than for people in other careers. The rate of PTSD and suicide among correctional officers... Learn More
“When repeatedly exposed to people who are overdosing, especially those who have repeated overdoses, we’re facing cynicism, and some of the older law enforcement officers expressed a kind of detachment from both work and personal lives,” Brumage said. “They just became so cynical over time. They weren’t as effective as they could have been — either professionally or personally.” Click here to read the full article by Erin Beck in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
…Senior Cpl. Joshua Merkel, the class’s defensive-tactics instructor, talked to the recruits about how their bodies might respond to stressful situations. “When stress and adrenaline hit, we get tunnel vision, where our scope of vision narrows, and we get auditory exclusion, where we don’t hear as well,” he explained. He worked with them on deep breathing, yoga and other techniques for tuning into their environment. “From Day 1, I asked them to notice all the subtle things, like people’s energies and their body language,” Merkel said, including “observing sounds — not just hearing them but observing what things sound like — and what you smell.” Click here to read the... Learn More
As part of an effort to reduce secondhand trauma among first responders in Central Florida, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office will host a three-day mindfulness program. Click here to continue reading this article by Bianca Padro Ocasio in the Orlando Sentinel.
We join so many others in mourning the tragic loss of a great Dharma teacher and friend to so many. Cheri Maples made unique contributions to mindful justice field, as a former police captain and ordained teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh’s lineage, who trained numerous law enforcement and other public safety professionals in mindfulness through her organization, the Center for Mindfulness & Justice. Cheri and her work are irreplaceable, and at the same time she has opened the way for many to follow in her footsteps bringing the healing and transformative power of mindfulness and compassion to our public safety professionals. Fleet Maull, PhD, Founder Center for Mindfulness in Corrections &... Learn More
Illawarra law firm RMB Lawyers is introducing a new initiative to improve the mental health and wellbeing of its lawyers. The century old business with a presence in Wollongong, the Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven and Sydney knows that in the fast-paced world of law dealing with high stakes and tackling heavy workloads can have a significant impact on lawyer’s mental wellbeing. Industry statistics reveal that one-in-three lawyers will suffer some form of stress, depression, anxiety or burnout. RMB Lawyers is tackling the issue head on by ensuring a supportive workplace environment. It is incorporating a new initiative designed to assist lawyers in managing the mental impact the profession can have. In fact RMB is... Learn More
Do lawyers get stressed? Hmm. Do children like ice cream? The answer, of course, is yes, which is why some attorneys—and the New Jersey State Bar Association—have begun to embrace relaxation techniques, such as meditation and yoga, to handle the vicissitudes of daily life. Click here to continue reading this article in the New Jersey Law Journal.
Many law graduates feel burned out. It’s challenging finding motivation to clear one of the biggest hurdles between them and their careers—passing the bar exam. During bar preparation this summer, law grads are isolated and their anxiety runs high, creating an experience that noticeably impacts their mental health, according to Chris Ritter, staff attorney with the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, which helps law students, lawyers and judges who struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues. Texas Lawyer asked Ritter—who wrote a white paper of 10 tips to help law students find relief from stress, mental health and substance use issues—some questions about how law graduates, while studying for the... Learn More
A personal development coach has explained the business and personal benefits of mindful leadership for law firms. Speaking at the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association’s (ALPMA) Leadership and Culture seminar, held at the Sydney offices of Brown Wright Stein Lawyers in May, business coach Petris Lapis explored the importance of mindful leadership in law firms. Ms Lapis began her career as a tax lawyer before a stress-related liver tumour caused her to rethink her priorities. Now she delivers personal development programs internationally, teaching lawyers and other professionals how soft skills and mindfulness can help them succeed while maintaining their mental health. Click here to continue reading this article by Tom... Learn More